Facts about Appalachia


  • 50% of the counties in Central Appalachia have only one hospital and about 1 in 5 do not have a hospital at all

  • On average, 20% of the people in the region live below the poverty line (the current national poverty rate for a family of four is $20,650 a year, i.e. $1,720 a month)

  • The first shipment of coal out of Central Appalachia was in 1892 from Dickenson County, in Southwest Virginia; today one coal company owns approximately 40% of the land and between 60%-80% of all of the mineral rights in the county

  • Extraction abuses by the coal industry, especially through mountain top removal, has destroyed more than 1,000,000 acres of forests, 500 mountains, and buried over 1,000 miles of streams in the Appalachian region

  • Kentucky ranks 1st in the nation for the number of adults who cannot read

  • In Hancock County, Tennessee the average income for a family of 4 is $14,000 a year, which is 47% of the national figure

  • 1/3 of all of West Virginia's children are born into poverty

  • Appalachian culture and people are consistently misrepresented in media with programming such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Lil Abner & Daisy Mae, "Appalachian Emergency Room" and Deliverance
Source: Appalachian Community Fund


Appalachian Region Map


Kentucky - Central Appalachian Counties
Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, & Wolfe

Tennessee - Central Appalachian Counties
Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Clay, Fentress, Grainger, Hancock, Jackson, Macon, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Scott, & Union

Virginia - Central Appalachian Counties
Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, & Wise + Norton city

West Virginia - Central Appalachian Counties
Logan, Mingo, Wayne, & Wyoming


Source: Appalachian Regional Commission



For more information on Appalachia and how Friends of Appalachia, Inc. serves the people who call that region home, please download our brochure.


Last Updated on April 20, 2014
Site Created on November 20, 2009
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